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HG: The End of the World, Chapter Twenty - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
HG: The End of the World, Chapter Twenty
Haymitch's recovery is too slow for Snow's taste, so, after firing a few doctors, he make Caesar come in to do an interview and take Haymitch out to show him appreciating the Capitol. Because he can.

Chapter Twenty
There is a car waiting by the door, but now that I am outside of the building, all I want is to stay outside. I remember standing on the cliff, staring out at the stream beyond the force field, and all of that longing for a world outside of the Games comes back to me.

I look over my shoulder at Caesar. "Could we walk for a while?"

He glances at my doctor, who has a wary look in his eyes but nods anyway.

"I think we can walk, if we take it slow." He turns to his crew. "Camera two and sound two come along. Everyone else meet us at the first stop."

They snap to it, piling equipment into the car. Caesar turns right, steering me out onto a long sidewalk beside City Circle. The camera and sound team he indicated -- a pair of almost robotic looking women with a gliding platform that hovers above the ground -- follow along beside us.

It is a beautiful day, with high, wispy clouds in a bright blue sky. The colored glass of the Capitol shimmers in the light, and in the distance, I see the sparkle of the lake. It's high summer. I have been out of the real world for more than six weeks, and it feels strange to be back in it. I expect a flock of vicious mutts to emerge from every bush, and the random people out on the street might attack at any moment. A pigeon of the perfectly ordinary sort looks up at my wheelchair as it approaches. It seems annoyed at the disturbance, and only flies away when we're nearly on top of it. I follow its flight up toward a greenish building that shimmers in the sun like old copper.

All of this is built on blood, I tell myself sternly, but it doesn’t make it any less beautiful. I'm not even sure it's true. The Games are definitely part of the culture here (the Games museum is on the far side of the circle from where Caesar is pushing me right now), but I don't know how much of the city they actually built, or even how much of it comes from the districts. I remember going to fish my dad out of Murphy's pub once when I was about seven and finding him in a huge brawl, because he'd tried to explain to some guy he worked with in the mines that the Capitol did actually have its own resources, and not everything came out of the districts. This is not a well-received notion at home, but, as Dad told me drunkenly while we walked back, blotting at the blood pouring from his nose, it's a plain fact.

"Where are we going?" I ask Caesar.

"The library, for starters," he says. "There's someone there waiting for you."

"My mom?"

"No. I'm sorry, but she doesn't have permission to come to the Capitol. I wish it were her. She's a very nice woman. I've enjoyed our talks on the phone."

"Do you think they could grow her new lungs, the way they grew my new earlobe?"

"Probably," Caesar says, then sighs. "I wouldn't count on it, though, Haymitch. There's a long waiting list from the districts, and even being a victor's mother doesn't move you up it very fast."

"Can we start working on getting her on the list?"

"I'll do what I can," he says carefully, and I realize that he doesn't think I have a chance. Of course not. I screamed that I was going to get out of the arena and start killing people.

And besides, all of this has to go. This is…

But I can't work up the same cold anger I had in the arena. There's anger, yes. But they could cure Mom. If I took a cure from them, would they own me? And if they cured my mother, could I really want to tear it all down?

A bunch of little kids are playing on the plaza, some kind of game with ribbons and music. People are scuttling back and forth to their jobs. It's the same as District Twelve, except with more money and sillier clothes. A few of them stop to look at our little entourage going by, but they don't bother us. They must be used to Caesar Flickerman and victors here.

I suddenly understand the point of this little trip. Caesar knows what I said. Caesar's job is to make me not want to start a war. I would do well not to forget that the man is smart. Snow's threats seem clumsy and ridiculous. The walk through the lovely afternoon, with Capitol people going about their business, on the other hand…

I decide not to open up to Caesar any more. He's a little too good at his job.

Just before the Circle starts curving in toward the president's mansion, Caesar veers us onto a wide, tree-lined promenade, flanked by fancy houses. These aren't spun glass marvels like the skyscrapers and tall apartment buildings. They're old stone houses, many with colored glass doors. A little kid runs down from a porch and points at me. He smiles. I smile back, then remember that he was probably rooting for me to kill people a few weeks ago.

No one taught him any better, Mom says in my head.

I ignore it. Some things shouldn't need to be taught.

The promenade is a long park, with traffic running on either side of it. Benches line the path, and about halfway to a huge stone building, Caesar sits the crew down and has my doctor check to make sure I'm all right. I expect him to interview me now, and ask me about all the things I like best so far on our walk, or what the Capitol has to offer to the districts, or something.

Instead, he just sits down on a bench across from me. "How are you holding up?"

"Doctor says I'm okay."

"I don't just mean your injury. I've known a lot of victors, Haymitch. A lot of them are my friends, and I hope you will be as well, as the years go by. But I know this is hard."

"I'm not thinking about much," I say.

He nods, as if he expects nothing else. "Let me give my crew a little rest -- that equipment can get heavy -- and then we'll move on."

A few people approach us while we're waiting. The little boy from before comes up and asks Caesar for an autograph, then timidly asks me for one while Caesar is talking to someone else. He is pushing a stroller, where I half expect a doll to be, but he says it is his brand new sister, Maysilee, named after my friend. He apparently doesn't notice that I've snapped the pencil I'm holding in half, because he leans in conspiratorially and says, "Her name's supposed to be Marcelina on papers, but we're always calling her Maysilee, even though it's a district name."

I look at the baby, which looks like every other baby and does not even have blue eyes like Maysilee's.

I can't think of anything to say.

Caesar sweeps in and says the baby is just as beautiful as her namesake, but I'm awfully tired and need some space. He shoos the small crowd away.

We get moving again. "I'm sorry about that," he says. "I should have realized that there would be some of that sort of thing. It always happens. That's one of the reasons Capitol law requires certain names and disallows others. Otherwise, everyone would name their children after their favorites."

I still can't say anything. I don't know what to make of the idea.

"Can you go on?"

I nod.

We head on down the promenade and finally reach the large stone building. The sign in front of it identifies it as the National Library of Panem. Caesar pushes me through an arch into a courtyard garden. A fountain in the center has twelve smiling children holding up a globe. The water bursts from what ought to be the north pole and comes splashing down on the children.

Coins glitter in the water for some reason. I point to them. "Why is there money in the fountain?" I ask Caesar.

He takes a few coins out of his own pocket and throws them in. "People toss them for luck," he says. "Or make wishes on them. The money is collected up every day, and it goes to the library." He looks at me awkwardly. "I suppose you think it should go to the districts."

I shake my head. People's spare coins aren't going to fix the big problems at home, even if they're harvested every day, and I doubt any of the other districts are in better shape. "No. I don't." I reconsider, thinking about our puny little school library, which is all District Twelve has. "Maybe it could go towards libraries for the districts."

Caesar gives me a fond laugh. "I like you, Haymitch. I really do hope you'll be my friend." He wheels me inside, where the rest of the crew is waiting, along with a man I only know from television -- the District Three victor, Beetee, who Chaff said had also steered money toward me. It must have been a really late intervention, since he still had a tribute alive after Maysilee died.

He smiles at me. "Hello, Haymitch. I understand you like to read." He raises his hand and I look up. The library goes up many stories, and they wrap around the central atrium. I can see the flickering of computer screens, and also shelves and shelves… miles of shelves… full of books.

"How many?" I ask.

"No idea," Beetee tells me. "And quite a lot of the rooms are restricted to people who have special passes, but let me show you around…"

He does. Caesar and the camera crews follow us, but they don’t bother us. Beetee has been most interested in the legal wing, which I am surprised is unrestricted, but I guess they don't mind people knowing all the things that are against the law. He also uses the technology wing, which is restricted, but he has a pass because he's a genius (though what he says is that "the Capitol thinks my brain is useful in that area"). I'm allowed into a vast cavern of literature, though there's no time to really go through it. Beetee shows me a book kept under glass that's so old it's actually on a scroll, in a language no one understands. But it's very beautiful. next to it is an old folio -- also in a language no one knows -- and a beautifully illustrated book, open to a page with the first letter decorated. Beetee identifies this one as being in a language called Latin, which a few people know, but no one speaks.

It occurs to me that everyone I trained with speaks the same language -- English (or what Beetee calls, "What we call English at the moment -- I should show you some other versions") . A few different accents, but no other languages. I wonder if anyone left in the world really speaks another language.

We go into a room full of maps and globes, and Beetee spends time showing me maps of the world before the Catastrophes, and superimposing the current world on it. I know that District Twelve was in a place called Appalachia, but there's no such place on the map. The town hovers around places called Pennsylvania and West Virginia, though with the coastlines not matching up, Beetee can't be sure of exactly which place it's in. It turns out there are huge lakes to the north of us. I never knew that.

I could probably spend a long time here if I were allowed to, but of course, this whole day is about getting me on camera appreciating the Capitol. I'm afraid I've given them really good footage here.

On the way out, I thank Beetee for the tour.

He smiles. "Thank you for staying with Sigh at the end. He was a good boy, and he was very frightened. I'm glad he had an ally with him."

We pack up and move on. Caesar guesses I'm not in a mood for the Mutt Zoo, though the camera crews want to go there. ("Don't mind them," Caesar says. "And don't fret too much about the zoo. The mutts can't help what they do, and they have to be somewhere.")

We see the Museum of the In-gathering, with relics brought here from all over the world, whatever people could carry with them that meant something. A lot of the meanings are lost. Caesar makes a point of taking me to an area labeled "Scotland," which he says is where the Abernathy name comes from. He looked it up. There's a battered set of pipes, an even more battered blue flag, and a few old coins. There are pages from old books, showing men in skirts going into battle. None of them look especially like me. There are also paintings of a rugged coastline, and a deep lake, and -- weirdly -- a kind of travel brochure that shows a giant water mutt. Nothing really tells me what it means that my name is from here, but it was nice of Caesar to do the research, so I make the right noises. I ask to see the Irish section, since Danny says most of the merchants are Irish, and I guess that means Maysilee was, too. I really don't know what that means. In this section, there's a good deal of green and harp, and a lot of paintings.

I don't really get anything from it, but I feel like I should have.

After the museum, we go to an park. I am too tired to try and play any of the games I see kids my age playing, but I don't want to go back to the hospital, so I get my doctor to just let me sit under a tree and rest. I'm approached again by some autograph seekers -- one who says he's in my fan club and wants me to tell him what he should read next -- and Caesar decides I've had enough. My protests that I want to be outside have less of an effect on him than they had on my doctor, mostly because I'm starting to fall asleep in my wheelchair.

They do bring the car around to take me back, but I'm out like a light before they get out of the traffic around the park.

I'm woken up in the evening to watch the "recovery special," which has been cobbled together quickly. It's half an hour long, and seems to exist just to show everyone that I'm alive. It's the first really good look I've gotten at myself. I'm polished and clean and my hair is properly cut, but they didn't hide the way my shoulder bones poke up under my shirt, or how my face seems pulled very tight over my cheekbones. I've starved before, but I never knew how bad I looked when I was in this state. No wonder people always looked away from me. At the end of the special, President Snow vows that "these long and trying Games" will conclude in the usual festivities at this time next week. He wishes me a speedy recovery.

The next day, the tests start. I don't think this is usual, because no one seems to know what they're supposed to do. The tests themselves are puzzles and riddles, mostly, and a nervous man with a stopwatch keeps track of how long I take to solve them. This goes on in the afternoon for three days, and no one explains it. I guess I could make a stink about it, but now that I'm awake, that sense of boredom that got me into trouble in the arena is back. The tests seem harmless enough. There's nothing political about them. I guess it can't hurt anything to take them, though no one comes to tell me how I've done on them.

In the evenings, Chaff comes and teaches me to play chess, which he has taken up as a talent now that he's a victor. He suggests I take it up as well, so we can just spend our time having long distance tournaments, but I don't like it as much as he does.

"You know they're going to make you think of something," he tells me. "They have to have something they can interview you about."

I think I could sufficiently annoy Drake by taking up poetry, but then I remember the way Hazelle Purdy made fun of my poems, and decide against it. I do have a hobby planned, of course. I plan to take down the Capitol. I'm not going to give the idea up just because it has a library and a museum -- well, lots of museums; I only saw the one -- no matter how well Caesar got to me. I don't think they'd like to interview me about that, though.

Seeder suggests ballet, which Chaff and I both laugh at. The idea of me leaping around a stage wearing tights is self-evidently ridiculous. I can tell I'm healing, because laughing barely hurts, and I'm only on enough pain-killer to keep me going now.

Exactly on Snow's schedule, my doctors declare me cured. I'm given orders to be careful and keep my physical activity to a minimum. Drake re-appears and kicks out Chaff and Seeder, though he doesn't have much to do except preen for the cameras.

Then they take me to the stage.

It's the same stage that the interviews took place on, because the huge audience is gathered to view the final cut of this year's Hunger Games. I go up on a metal plate and I'm placed in the chair I've seen every year -- a red velvet thing with ebony arms, inlaid with gold and something white. The inlays make a pattern of grain waving in the wind.

Caesar does an opening patter with the crowd, then the official broadcast begins. I have to watch everything. The cameras will be on me, and if I do anything they deem camera-worthy, it will come up in a box for the viewers at home to see. No one needs to tell me not to cry. I saw one victor cry during the showing, and he was ridiculed for months.

I steel myself. I have to know what story they've decided to tell.

They begin with the never-ending Reapings. I see Maysilee pull herself away from Kaydi and Ruth. This all seems to be so long ago that it belongs in a painting on the museum wall -- the quaint folk customs of mountain folk. I see Gilla and Beech called, and I finally see myself, looking stupidly surprised. They do not show any of my friends reacting. On this stage, I see my quip about how stupid everyone is. Apparently, that's the hook. It is to be the slow breaking of my obvious arrogance.

Once we're in the arena, they concentrate on my cold run into the woods, getting out of the way before the bloodbath starts. Of course, they do spend some time lingering on the bloodbath. It would hardly be worth buying the highlights without that. I get a close-up view of Filigree murdering Beech (she is obviously set up to be the second most important character), though, thankfully, I only get a quick glimpse of Sabinus Malton, who will die in the volcano, cutting Gilla with a machete. Maysilee's fight with Declan Denny is shown in full. All if it is more interesting than my long walk through the woods, apparently.

They show me finding Sigh Tomby, and seeing his melted face, but the scene is cut short, implying that I just found out the water was poison and dumped him aside. After that, they cut to the Careers trying to take over at the mountain. They look like they're hunting other tributes, but they certainly couldn't have killed many. I'd place a bet that most of the hunting was for a solid water source in reality.

Though they seem to enjoy showing me dealing with butterfly stings, the first real "breaking moment" is the fight with the squirrels. They show this in loving detail, going right down to me throwing their carcasses away in atavistic horror. They do not show me plugging the mutt-ways after it. The point is to show me being attacked by tiny mutts with tiny brains, and almost losing.

Maysilee figures out her blowgun. She's definitely being given a sympathetic treatment, even as they show her using it to kill several mutts and then, finally, Wyland Belcher.

They spend a good part of time showing their fabulous volcano, which looks considerably more frightening up close than it did at a distance. Some of the kids were instantly vaporized. Others struggled away, burned and coughing, until they died. The five Careers who survived the blast survived it by sheer luck -- they'd had a falling out with Pomponia Graff, splitting the pack, and were re-grouping at a little distance from the mountain when it started to rumble. They all ran together for the end of the meadow. It was becoming clear that Filigree was going off the rails by this point, and the three boys who later found me broke away from the District One tributes as soon as they fell asleep and left the others on watch. Moonstone remained her hostage to fortune. He is portrayed sympathetically, even though we saw him kill several people at the Cornucopia.

I know I can't flinch when the Career boys set on me, and I can't cry when Maysilee appears to save me. I don't.

They show absolutely nothing of the long talks we had, though at one point, they show me asleep while she watches over me very tenderly. I have a feeling I know where this is going. They skip the magpie attack, and don't explain it when Maysilee appears with shorter hair. When we get through the hedge, it seems almost instantaneous. We go to the cliff, and she breaks our alliance. I don't look at her. I treat her like she's not there. I let her walk away, and I don't look back. I am busy solving my puzzle.

Then she dies.

They at least take the trouble to show me holding her hand while she slips away -- and that's what it looks like on the video, like she wasn't thrashing and seizing and in unbearable agony. I don't know how they did that. Nothing is shown of the wait afterward. They do a direct cut to her being lifted away, like there wasn't a big gap. I'm shown falling, but with no indication of what knocked me over. Arrogant boy -- loses his only friend, then trips and knocks himself unconscious.

While I'm out, Kushi Rowe discovers the squirrels. He is weaponless, and they take him down quickly. When the cannon goes, Filigree takes it as a signal to get to the end. She turns on Moonstone. He fights back feebly, but he never had a chance. I think he knew that.

Then they get to the fight that Filigree and I had. We are both acting like animals. The cocky boy has been sufficiently broken.

I really don't know what happened after I passed out at the cliff. I can't understand why Filigree isn't here. All she needed do was come over and slam her axe into my head. Instead, she throws it. There is no reason at all for her to do this, unless she thought I was faking the convulsions to draw her in. The force field throws the axe back and it goes into her head instead of mine. The story ends with a picture of me convulsing on the ground, looking like all of my brains have leaked out with my guts. Broken completely.

I say nothing. There is nothing to say. The audience doesn't seem to know what to do with it, either. Generally, even when the "bad guy" wins the Games, they try to make it look fierce and competent.

President Snow comes out on stage. He smirks unpleasantly when he puts the victor's crown on my head.

I meet his eyes. Glare at him until he looks away. Say nothing.

I'm whisked off after the show to a banquet. Drake is in his element here, chatting up rich sponsors. A few of them want to meet me, but most seem a little repulsed by what they've just watched. Good. I don't want to talk to them, anyway.

A boy comes up beside me at one point. He looks familiar. It takes a minute to recognize him as the boy who was serving the Gamemakers during my evaluation, the one who stared, gape-mouthed, at me after I took out the knife masters.

He puts down a dessert I didn't ask for, then looks over his shoulder. Once he's satisfied that no one's listening, he whispers, "I saw everything." He holds up his hand. On it, there is a piece of paper, soaked through with sweat. It is a drawing of Maysilee's mockingjay, the ink starting to run. He puts his finger to his lips, then slips away, dropping the paper into a flaming dessert tray as he goes.

I hope Snow eats that dessert.

The banquet goes on into the early hours of the morning. My wound -- which is not entirely healed -- is starting to hurt. I can't find my doctor or Gia, so I ask Drake if I can get some pain medication. He tells me to man up. I explain that my axe wound is acting up. He tells me to have a drink.

The drink turns out to be a good painkiller, especially after four or five of them. I guess this will be cheaper than having them send me whatever they've been giving me in the hospital.

Shots of me drunkenly lurching around the banquet are on television in the morning. Gia is back, and she is furious that they'd show such a thing, but Drake thinks it's hilarious. I am hung over when I go to Caesar's studio for my last interview, which studiously avoids mention of the previous night.

I at least get a chance to praise Maysilee as she deserves… though I guess out of the mouths of the Capitol's current running joke, it doesn't matter.

Drake doesn't come to see me off on the train, and Chaff sends a note that he's not allowed, and he'll see me next year.

On the train home, I watch more television. There are a lot of comedians making fun of my stumbling around. My gut hurts again. I decide, if they're making fun of me anyway, that I may as well hit the bar car and get the pain calmed down. Neither my mentor nor my escort is with me (the escorts never go home with tributes, and I guess mentors only do because they usually live there, too), so there's no one to stop me.

I'm still pretty buzzed when we pull into the station in District Twelve.
20 comments or Leave a comment
zinne80 From: zinne80 Date: September 19th, 2013 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I started to read the final eight, and now I am here. I've read everything now, even the Harry potter fics. It's very rare that I dare to comment, because of my bad English, but also because I'm not good in finding words. Iwould like to give you a review that leaves you smiling for days, but since I am not that good with words... I don't even know how to finish this sentence but I hope you get the idea. The last months I've spent every break at work our home reading through your entire works. Thanks for giving me this whole new dimension in the hunger games realm. You write amazing.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! I'm glad you like the story... and what bad English? Trust me, I've read worse from native speakers.
redrikki From: redrikki Date: September 19th, 2013 02:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder at what point in Haymitch's life did he realize he was being set up as a drunk to destroy his potential and credibility and start to use his image as a bumbling drunk to mask what he was up to.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's a complicated situation. He may realize it pretty quickly. On the other hand, he's genuinely an alcoholic.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
And it makes you wonder if Snow had anything to do with Drake's "encouragement." It's entirely possible Drake did it entirely on his own; we all know now what a charming fellow he is.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 20th, 2013 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
To be fair, Drake was probably just passing on his own practices at that point.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: September 20th, 2013 10:34 am (UTC) (Link)
It didn't even read that malicious to me. Callous, yes, but not necessarily anything worse, since Drake doesn't seem to me to be in the best place himself...
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 19th, 2013 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Amazingly, I found myself wanting to know more about Drake after this chapter. Usually in HG fics I don't really like the side characters and OCs, but I always enjoy learning about yours.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 19th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I like trying to come up with OCs that sort of fit.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: September 19th, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aargh, Haymitch. Watching the beginnings of his slide into alcoholism is almost as painful as the tournament itself.
vesta_aurelia From: vesta_aurelia Date: September 20th, 2013 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)
This is actually more painful for me than the Games were...because I *know* what's coming next and it's all horrible. :(

Someday, Fern, I hope you write THG from Haymitch's p.o.v. You used Delly for The Final Eight, but I'd like to see Haymitch's reaction to seeing Maysilee's pin on Katniss, amongst other things.
From: queen_bellatrix Date: September 20th, 2013 02:17 am (UTC) (Link)

re: Hunger Games From Haymitch's Pov

You have no idea how enthusiastically I'm seconding this notion right now. I've thought at least six times that I can recall while reading your HG-verse stuff how much I wanted HG from Haymitch's pov, and have been avidly waiting for a challenge call where I'm awake (we're on very different time zones.) to ask for a pov of one of the crucial scenes and then grovel for the rest. I want to know so many things, but especially about all the rebel machinations going on while the kids were in the arena.

And I agree with the above commentor that watching his slide in to drinking is so much worse, especially because I adore his Mom and Digger, and what's going to happen is awful. *whimpers at the thought of fences*I'm getting to the point in the story where I check for updates with a feeling of mingled anticipation and dread.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 20th, 2013 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hunger Games From Haymitch's Pov

I'll see. Right now, I have a couple of things I'm thinking of going forward (a nine-chapter interquel with Danny, while Haymitch is most out of it, then a full-length one on the early rebellion and the new Head Peacekeeper).
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 20th, 2013 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hunger Games From Haymitch's Pov

excited to see the nine chapter interquel with danny. resding this made me more interested in what happened with mr. mellark and others
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 20th, 2013 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hunger Games From Haymitch's Pov

This is Queen_Bellatrix, just not logged in.

Both those ideas sound incredibly awesome! :) More Digger and Mrs. abernathy and Ruth/Danny. It'll be really interesting, for the nine chapter one, to get the reaction of the District to Haymitch's stunt e.g. the force field, especially as they saw its entirety, and then the seeds of rebellion when Snow supresses/whitewashes it, as well as lingering grief for Maysilee *is still missing Maysilee*

For the full length one, when you say head peacekeeper and early rebellion, you're talking about the whole thing in 12 with Beckett that Glenn/Ruth were involved in? *crosses fingers very tightly that we're thinking of the same thing* I can definitely see how seeing Haymitch as an early revolutionary, as compared to how he was in CF/MJ would be really fascinating/interesting to write as well as read.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: September 20th, 2013 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow. I have to agree with the others that this part is almost worse. We know what's coming, and it ain't pretty (at least until the very, very end). I'm curious about the highlight reel. Do they not have any home recording devices in Panem? Because otherwise there'd be about a million Phantom Edits of the Games out there, not to mention shippers making fan vids set to Julian Day songs. Of course, none of the general public would have seen Haymitch blocking the mutt entryways or swearing revenge on the Capitol, but they would have seen so much anyway that they could have cut the story a different way if they wanted to.

I too wondered when reading why the District One girl threw the axe. I think that her wondering if it's a fakeout on Haymitch's part is a good explanation. Another one is that someone who's just had an eye (and possibly a bit of her brain) put out isn't going to be acting in a calm and rational manner under very many circumstances. If she'd actually been brain damaged at that point (even if she wasn't already axe crazy, literally) she may have had very little control over what she did.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: September 20th, 2013 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if they would have video recording or not -- the Capitol likes controlling the narrative so much that they might realize letting people have recording equipment would lead them to actually be able to remember what really happened.
From: tree_and_leaf Date: September 20th, 2013 10:37 am (UTC) (Link)
If I was running a media-obsessed dictatorship like the Capitol, I wouldn't let shops sell recording equipment on the open market. I'd offer video-on-demand of all television instead - which they'd be able to edit as they saw fit.
patita_fea From: patita_fea Date: September 22nd, 2013 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
...he'd tried to explain to some guy he worked with in the mines that the Capitol did actually have its own resources, and not everything came out of the districts. This is not a well-received notion at home...

I'm really impressed with this bit of sociopolitical nuance. Really, seriously impressed.

A giant water mutt in Scotland. Ahahaha! Ohhhh, I love it. But even better is the historical texture you give Collins' world. You make it feel more like a solid place in a particular time, not a theme park with hovercrafts and genetically engineered monsters.

And oh, Haymitch. Poor boo.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 23rd, 2013 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)

I Agree...

With everything that has already been said about Haymitch and his drinking.

Will we hear more about the intelligence testing? Was it Snow's idea, or Ceasar's?

And seeing Plutarch again was great. Now his role in the Rebellion makes more sense.

And the tour was great too. You almost get the feeling that Ceasar would be a more effective ruler than Snow. Or that Snow would be well advised to take Ceasar's advice much, much more often. We know he doesn't, of course, because that's Snow for you.

Getting kind of nervous about reading going forward.

Sara Libby
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